The Rights of Young People

Submitted on Jun 28, 2008, 7:46 a.m.

This is scary - U.S. School District to Begin Microchipping Students - as Karen Lawrence Öqvist"s points out as well.

I remember reading about high schools offering parents access to the school's Intranet to see whether or not their sons or daughters were actually at school or not, and I thought that was worrying at the time.

Another example of the continuing cycle of media and government generated fear being used to reduce civil rights in the name of 'security'?

Reading The Catcher in the Rye , or Nineteen Eighty-Four and students today might wonder why it is that they are able to easily identify with Holden Caulfied, or wonder perhaps whether or not they are actually living in 1984; while their freedom to make decisions (and accept responsibility for their actions) is being steadily reduced.

I remember some of the things I did in high-school. The choices I made weren't always the right ones - but they were an important part of growing up for me.

Teenage years are a complicated time. We're struggling to find the balance between life at home, life at school, our need to be accepted by our peers and even our need to be able to begin to form intimate relationships with others. What happens when a teenager suffers his or her first heart-break and is too embarrassed to tell their parents about it - and can't face going to school that day; just wanting a little down-time in order to try and resolve their feelings before facing the world again. Where does their freedom to choose to do that go?

Employees are protected from surveillance at work under various regulations (Lawful Business Practice Regulations in the UK). Surely our teenagers deserve equivalent protection from surveillance at school; where they deserve the right to prove they are responsible and trustworthy before losing their freedom to choose.